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Vasseur Max Verstappen under pressure

Vasseur: Verstappen Makes Errors Outside His ‘Comfort Zone’

28/05/2024

Max Verstappen’s errors at Imola and Monaco are due to increased pressure from Ferrari and McLaren, according to Ferrari team principal Frédéric Vasseur.

Max Verstappen made several errors during free practice at Imola but ultimately secured pole position and won the race. In Monaco, the Dutchman made mistakes in qualifying. Ferrari team principal Frédéric Vasseur believes this is due to the pressure from Scuderia Ferrari and McLaren F1.

“I don’t want to draw conclusions about this weekend, but if you look at the last two hours of the weekend, I think Max made more mistakes or went off track more often at Imola than in the past three seasons,” Vasseur noted. “They have to push more. If you stay in your comfort zone for strategy, you don’t make mistakes, and I think they were in that situation.”

In 2023, Red Bull won 21 out of 22 races, largely due to a very competitive race pace. Vasseur notes that this is no longer the case: “We haven’t seen them forced to push to the limit. Last year, they had a significant gap that sometimes allowed us to fight them in qualifying.”

“But in the race, the average gap was four or five-tenths. This means that when you have a four or five-tenths difference, you’re not really in danger.”

“I think it was in Jeddah last year when Max started from ninth position and was leading after three laps. They had that comfort, but anything can happen. Even with the strategy that allowed Max to pit on the last lap in Austria to set the fastest lap, it means they had a pit stop’s worth of gap.”

“And in those conditions, even if you make a mistake, it’s transparent. This season, that’s no longer the case. It’s not the case for us, but it’s also not the case between Red Bull and McLaren, because McLaren is closer, and we have to make the most of this fight.”

However, the Frenchman is convinced that Red Bull will quickly bounce back and return to their early-season form: “I think they will come back, and they will come back strong. I don’t think everything will be easy until the end.”

“In Canada, it’s probably almost the opposite of Monaco in terms of speed and strength, but there are also the characteristics of the curbs with a lot of low-speed corners, chicanes, and so on, some corners similar to Monaco.”

“But overall, we were competitive in Melbourne, as we were in Imola, in Miami, with different types of compounds, different tarmac, different layouts. It will be tight until the end. I think some cars will adapt better to certain circuits.”

Vasseur: Max Verstappen under pressure. Vasseur: Max Verstappen under pressure

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